• Published 2nd Mar 2012
  • 27,375 Views, 4,215 Comments

A Dream - totallynotabrony

A not so standard human-in-Equestria story including but not limited to: democracy, tequila, and robots.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
Bridle Gossip

I hurried back from the train station with a bucket of coal dangling from my mouth. I hadn’t exactly acquired it honestly, but hopefully they wouldn’t miss just a few chunks.

The armored super-suit was right where I had left it outside the library. I was getting ready to run some tests on my invention, and for that I needed power.

The coal went in a chute at the back. I borrowed some old paper and a burning stick from the library’s fireplace and lit it up.

It took a few minutes for the coal to create a hot fire. The boiler began to heat up, producing steam for the pumps that ran the hydraulic system.

The powered exoskeleton model A1, PEX-1 for short, had taken a surprisingly short time to build, considering it was a freaking powered armor suit that I had only used steampunk technology to assemble. Not to mention that I had to do it with hooves.

The steam level looked good, so I climbed inside and engaged the controls. I pushed the levers forward to take the first step.

I was surprised as a cylinder line broke. I think it surprised Twilight even more, as the broken hose showered her with hydraulic oil, bowling her over and back through the library’s front door that she had just come out of.

With the loss of fluid pressure, the suit collapsed around me. I wriggled out, dousing the fire so it wouldn’t spread to the oil.

“Are you okay, Twilight?”



She sighed. “I’ll have to go over to Rarity’s and get some shampoo to get this stuff out of my hair. I don’t think I have anything that will take care of it.”

“I do feel kind of bad for doing that to you, so I’ll pay. I also need a new hydraulic line, so I’m going to go to the hardware store.”

We set off, Spike riding on my back to avoid the greasy Twilight. “The streets sure are empty,” he said. “Is it some kind of pony holiday?”

Twilight said, “Not that I know of.”

“Does my breath stink?” asked Spike

“Not more than usual.”

“Is it... zombies?!”

“Uh... not very likely,” answered Twilight.


She rolled her eyes. “Of course, you would be the only pony looking forward to zombies, Valiant.”

“Turning this dream into survival horror would be pretty rad. I just wish I had a boomstick and fingers to use it.”

She was about to retort, when Pinkie called to us from an open door.

“Psst! Come here! Hurry! Before she gets you!” The three of us went inside.

“Pinkie, what are you doing here alone in the dark?”

“I'm not alone in the dark.” The lights came up and I saw that there were half a dozen other ponies there.

“Okay then, what are you all doing here in the dark?”

“We’re hidin’ from her!” said Applejack, pointing out the window.

Outside, there was only one pony visible. She, I think it was a she, wore a cloak that covered all of her.

“Did you see her?” asked Appljack’s little sister. “Did you see Zecora?”

“Apple Bloom! Ah told you never to say that name!”

“What’s wrong with her?” I asked.

“She’s mysterious.”



Outside the mysterious visitor lowered her hood. She was strangely colored and wore her mane in a mohawk.

“Just look at those stripe!” said Rarity. “So garish.” She looked at Twilight. "Dear, what is that all over you?"

I jumped in before she could answer. "I think the important thing here is our mysterious visitor."

"Yes, I suppose," said Rarity.

Twilight said, “She’s a zebra."

“A what?” said everyone.

“Yeah,” I said. “A zebra. Just like a pony, but colored funny and from a different part of the world.”

Twilight looked at me. “How did you know that?”

“I thought it was pretty common knowledge, at least on Earth. How come I’ve never seen any more of them around here?”

“Well, they’re not from Equestira. I don’t know how this ‘Zecora’ got here. Where does she live?”

“The Everfree Forest,” said Applejack. “That just ain't a natural place. The plants grow...”

“Animals care for themselves...” said Fluttershy.

“And the clouds move...” added Rainbow Dash.

“All on their own!” they chorused dramatically.

“Yeah, so?” I asked. Everyone glared at me.

“And that wicked enchantress Zecora lives there doing her evil...stuff!” said Pinkie. “Why she's so evil I even wrote a song about her!”

It wasn’t much of a song.

“This is all just a lot of gossip and rumors,” said Twilight. “Now tell me; what exactly have you actually seen Zecora do?”

None of them had very much evidence.

“I know exactly what’s going on here,” I said.

“You do?”

“Yep. You’re all racist.”

All of them gasped. “Wait, is that bad?” asked Apple Bloom.

“Oh, it’s very bad, but it happens a lot. That reminds me of a song. It’s called Everyone's a Little Bit Racist. I’d sing it, but I’d probably be violating some copyright claims. I wish you guys had YouTube here so I could play it for you.”

“You ponies are being ridiculous!” exclaimed Twilight. The conversation devolved into an argument. Apple Bloom and I quietly walked out the door. We watched Zecora leaving town.

“Ah’m gonna follow her,” she said.

“Not a wise plan, but I guess I didn’t have anything else to do today. Lead on.”

We hadn’t made it very far before the other six ponies were running after us.

“Apple Bloom! You get back here right now!”

“Beware, you pony folk! Those leaves of blue are not a joke!” said Zecora. I thought her voice sounded a little hoarse. I didn’t have time to contemplate the punnyness of it, because Applejack galloped up and grabbed her sister.

“You keep your creepy mumbo-jumbo to yerself, ya hear?” She and the rest of the ponies left.

“Sorry about that,” I said. “I’m Valiant, nice to meet you.”

The zebra smiled. “It is good to meet a pony such as you. I am Zecora, how do you do?”

She obviously had a thing for rhymes. We talked a little more before I said that I should probably be getting back.

I collected the hydraulic line from the hardware store and spent a couple of hours getting it installed. It was too late for another test when I finished, so I just went to bed.

A shriek from Twilight woke me up in the morning. Her horn had gone limp and was spotted with blue.

She spent a while tearing the library apart looking for a cure. We thought she might have eaten something to cause it, but then her friends began showing up.

Pinkie’s tongue was swollen and blue. Rainbow couldn’t fly in a straight line. Rarity was having a record-breaking bad hair day, and Applejack had shrunk to smaller than her sister.

“But Fluttershy seems just fine!” said Twilight.

She shook her head. Apparently there was something wrong that we couldn’t see.

“Good gravy, girl! What's wrong with you?” asked Applejack. Her tiny voice was higher pitched than usual.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Fluttershy in a voice that would rival many male blues singers.

“Oh my god, we should totally have a barbershop quartet!” I said. “We’ll call ourselves the Freak Show Band! Fluttershy, you sing bass. I’ll do tenor. Applejack, you’re soprano. Who want to be alto?”

“This is no joke!” said Twilight. “Everypony start looking for more books so I can find a cure!”

“I think we'll find a cure to this curse at Zecora's place!” said Rainbow. There was general agreement.

“This is all my fault,” said Apple Bloom. “If ah hadn't followed Zecora in the first place, none of this would have happened. Ah just gotta fix this.”

“Come on,” I said. “We’ll give the PEX a trial run.”

We went outside and I got the fire going. This time, the controls responded appropriately, and we were soon rumbling away. The machine’s awkward steps probably frightened many of the townsponies, but I was sure that they would get used to it soon enough.

“This is awesome!” shouted Apple Bloom over the noise of the actuators and the sound of the crashing footsteps.

“You’re scarin’ the hay outta me!” peeped Applejack, who had somehow stowed away. “Stop right now!”

“Sorry,” I said. “This thing doesn’t change directions very well.” We crashed into the forest, the PEX just barely fitting down the path. Applejack bailed out.

We eventually found a way to Zecora’s place. It was a hollowed-out tree with all kinds of tribal decorations. She burst out the door, eyes wide. “What in heaven is that? You are stomping the ground flat!”

“Hi Zecora,” I said. “We need some help.”

After a quick conversation, she sent us to get some herbal ingredients. Apparently, everything bad that had happened was caused by a rash that the ponies had gotten from some plants that Zecora had warned them about. Coincidental racism had prevented them from taking her seriously.

Apple Bloom and I went to get what she asked for. There were a few things to find. On our way back, Twilight burst out Zecora’s front door.

“Valiant! I’ve never been so happy to see you or your crazy machine! You have to help us!”

“Uh, yeah, that’s what we’re doing.”

“Ah’ve got all those ingredients for the cure right here,” said Apple Bloom.

Confusion reigned for a few minutes before we got everything sorted out. Zecora was a surprisingly good sport, and agreed to shrug off the ponies’ hostility.

All of them got cured, and lived happily, and slightly less racist, ever after.

PreviousChapters Next